Jun 092014
 

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ECU student and artist Katie McGeehin, seated, takes a photo with family and friends after her sculpture was unveiled during a ceremony at the Dream Park on Friday afternoon. (Rhett Butler/The Daily Reflector)

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Friday, June 6, 2014

Art installations at park unveiled

By Abbie Bennett

Greenville’s Dream Park is now inspiring people to spread their wings and appreciate the changes of the seasons.

Two public art installations were revealed at the Dream Park at 1711 Chestnut Street on Friday — one, a butterfly wing sculpture with a small seat, and two mosaic benches representing spring/summer and fall/winter.

Both were created by East Carolina University students who graduated this year. The “Seasons” benches were created by Aisling Millar-McDonald and sit beneath the shade of trees in the Dream Park playground area. Millar-McDonald graduated this year with a master’s in fine arts in sculpture and worked on the benches beginning in January while working on her thesis and teaching.

Katie McGeehin, an art education major with a concentration in sculpture, also graduated this year. McGeehin has been working on her piece since March, along with doing an internship, and said it took about 90 hours to complete.

Children laughed and played in the Dream Park sprayground, Splash Point, creating a background for city officials, staff and others to speak about the park and the artists who created the latest additions to the park.

The reveal was the final component of the Dream Park improvements project, according to Recreation and Parks Director Gary Fenton.

District 2 Councilwoman Rose Glover, a longtime advocate for the Dream Park, said the park was more than two decades in the making and she was proud to see the final pieces fall in to place.

Glover attended the event to speak about the long journey to making the Dream Park a reality, including the latest addition of public art.

“It’s been decades coming,” Glover said of the park. “My kids didn’t have the opportunity to have a park to play in, but I’m glad the kids growing up today will have an opportunity to have somewhere to play because, you know, if you have a healthy park, you will have a healthy community.”

Greenville Mayor Allen Thomas said the park itself brings the community together.

“This provides a wonderful oasis in this community that we’re very excited about,” he said. “Adding another piece of the oasis, the arts component, we feel in Greenville, is so significant. We are so excited about the theme, as it ties in with the Dream Park, and we’re so excited about hoping this is just the first step of many pieces of art that we provide our parks throughout the city.”

The artists were selected through a competition with the ECU School of Art and Design students.

“With any luck their art will be enjoyed by visitors to the Dream Park for decades to come,” Fenton said. “We don’t develop parks just for today’s people.”

Contact Abbie Bennett at abennett@reflector.com or 252-329-9579. Follow her on Twitter @AbbieRBennett.

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